Opera Launching New "Ice" Browser for iOS, Android

While Opera really didn't offer anything new to see for the North American market at CES 2013, the company has revealed to Pocket-lint that it's preparing a new web browser for the iOS and Android platforms called Opera Ice. It's in development for both smartphone and tablet form factors, and will focus on presenting rich applications rather than stuff the screen full of buttons and tabs.

"This is a full touch and tablet-focused browser," the project manager told the site. "Most are taking a PC browser and squishing [it] into a tablet, or they are taking a mobile browser and blowing it up to fill the space."

Opera wants to hide as much of the actual browser as possible, allowing the user to navigate the web using gestures instead of the typical forward and backward buttons. Tabs will reportedly be replaced by icons on a homepage, and new pages will be accessed by either typing in the URL or using the browser's search function. To bookmark, users simply tap a part of the screen and drag the icon to the home screen.

"We need to go into a new phase, we need to lift our games on certain areas to ensure we continue to grow," said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera. "We need to focus on getting strong products out on iOS and Android. These are the two leading platforms we will focus on… They are the ones phones are being sold for."

That said, the new browser is slated to arrive on both mobile platforms first. It may also arrive on the Windows Phone platform in the future, but that project won't become a priority until the Windows Phone device sales begin to pick up.

As for Opera Mini, the company doesn't have any plans to dump the popular scaled down browser. "Mini is super important," Boilsen added. "It needs to be a platform where we create users and then migrate those users to over to our smartphone products."

Opera also plans to launch a desktop version in March (presumably Opera Ice), so stay tuned for an official announcement soon.


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  • A Bad Day
    A bit late to the game?...
  • Cryio
    Let me breakdown this article so all of you can calm down and come back to reality:

    1) Opera is really proud with what they are achieving with Presto.They won't change it for the world after all the work they put into it. Just seach for all the patching they did. You'll think they wouldn't work their ass off to just switch to another browser engine to make things suddenly easier

    2) If any of you ever checked any of Opera's presentations on the Developer's Blog you would know Opera has a very clear stance on the subject of the Open Web: "The mobile web is not Webkit".

    3) Opera hasn't released Opera Mobile on iOS because the the strict rule of "every browser has to use Webkit-Nitro engine because of bla bla". They haven't released O. Mobile in 5 years since iOS launch and will not compromise their stance now. Hell, Opera Mini is the best browser on any handheld, for just browsing, hands-down.

    4) "We need to focus on getting strong products out on iOS and Android. These are the two leading platforms we will focus on… They are the ones phones are being sold for." Right. That's why Opera has the its browser on every platform ever made. Windows, OSX, Linux, Android, iOS, Nokia Belle OS, Symbian S40, Windows Mobile, MeeGo, BlackBerry OS, etc etc. As far as I know, they have a Windows Phone 7/8 browser in the works. So don't come here with the bullshit "we build stuff for the most popular platform".

    5) What SANE CEO would say this => "Opera mini is great, but it is not a fully-fledged offering like Chrome or Safari. There are too many sites it doesn't work with". No one would just shoot himself in the foot like this.

    6) The one who started this rumor is mentally challenged: "It needs to be a platform where we create users". It seems Opera builds users as of recent

    7) Opera has NEVER EVER since its inception shared final release dates. Final releases come from exhaustive testing. If something goes wrong, the so-called "release dates" are push back to make everything (or mostly everything) right.

    8) What kind of retarded name is Opera Ice?
  • Cryio
    This stupid rumor has been springing everywhere.